It’s Friday and that means I’m covering pitching. This is my favorite article of the week and I can’t wait to get into it. With that said, let’s discuss our 8/23 DFS Pitching options.
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8/23 DFS Pitching Cash Game Options
Jose Berrios, MIN vs. DET
DK ($10,000) FD ($8,800)
This is the best cash game pitcher of the day. The simple fact is, you have to love any pitcher against the Tigers, particularly a great one like Berrios. A 3.37 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 8.6 K/9 rate speak for itself and it’s amazing just how reliable this guy is. We’re talking about a pitcher who’s thrown at least 5.2 innings in 23 of his 25 starts this season and the Twins let him go as deep as he wants.
It’s all about the matchup though, with Detroit establishing themselves as the worst offense in baseball. In fact, the Motor City Kitties currently rank bottom-two in runs scored, OBP, OPS, xwOBA and K rate. That’s why Berrios enters this matchup as a –210 favorite and why the Tigers are projected for fewer than four runs.
Lance Lynn, TEX at CWS
DK ($10,500) FD ($9,700)
It’s so crazy to call Lynn a cash game pitcher but something has legitimately changed with this guy. A 3.60 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 10.2 K/9 rate are truly incredible numbers in a place like Texas. That’s arguably the toughest ballpark to pitch in and it says a lot about just how much he’s improved. His last 19 starts are where he’s really turned things around, pitching to a 2.90 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 10.9 K/9 rate. He’s actually thrown at least six innings and struck out at least five batters in all but one of those starts.
All of those brilliant numbers make Lynn a very enticing option in a matchup like this. The White Sox currently rank 28th in runs scored, 24th in OBP, 27th in OPS, 26th in K rate and 25th in xwOBA. They’re even worse against righties, filling out their lineup with guys like Jose Abreu, Eloy Jimenez, James McCann and Tim Anderson.
Jack Flaherty, STL vs. COL
DK ($9,400) FD ($9,900)
This one really pains me because the Rockies are my team but they’re just horrendous outside of Coors Field. In fact, Colorado ranks 23rd in K rate, 26th in runs scored, 29th in OPS and last in OBP outside of Coors. Those are nightmarish numbers against a guy like Flaherty, who’s been the best pitcher in the league the last month. Over his last seven starts, Flaherty is pitching to a 0.89 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and 10.9 K/9 rate. That has led to him scoring at least 32 FanDuel points in all seven of those starts, which is an unbelievably high floor from a player in this price range. That’s why Flaherty and the Cardinals enter this game as a -230 favorite.
8/23 DFS Pitching GPP Plays
Vince Velasquez, PHI at MIA
DK ($7,800) FD ($7,700)
Velasquez has been a regular in my articles over recent weeks and his numbers indicate that we’ve been getting it right with this talented pitcher. Since June 5, Velasquez is pitching to a 4.14 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 9.6 K/9 rate. That ERA may look like nothing special but that WHIP and K rate indicates that he’s one of the best pitchers in this rotation. Gabe Kapler really let him loose in his last start too, allowing VV to throw a season-high 108 pitches. Length has been one of the only issues with Velasquez over recent years and we’re looking at a stud if he throws over 100 pitches.
The career numbers speak loudly as well, with VV posting a 4.20 career xFIP to match his 4.05 SIERA and 25.4 percent K rate. Those great numbers make him particularly intriguing against an offense like the Marlins, with Miami ranked either 29th or dead-last in runs scored, OBP, OPS and xwOBA. That’s no surprise when you see that Velasquez has a 3.52 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 8.9 K/9 rate against them this season. Not to mention, Marlins Park is arguably the most pitcher-friendly ballpark in baseball, with Velasquez entering this matchup as a -180 favorite.
Zach Plesac, CLE vs. KC
DK ($7,200) FD ($8,000)
Plesac has quietly had a nice year for the Indians and it’s no wonder that they plan on keeping him in the rotation even with Carlos Carrasco returning. So far this season, Plesac is pitching to a 3.53 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. That’s really all you can ask for from someone this cheap and it looks even better when you consider that he’s faced the Yankees twice, the Red Sox twice, the Rangers twice and the Astros in his 15 starts.
We’re talking about a guy who was a stud in the minors too, posting a 1.89 ERA and 0.86 WHIP for his Double-A and Triple-A career. All of these numbers make him tough to fade against the Royals, with Kansas City ranked 27th in runs scored, 28th in OPS, 23rd in xwOBA and 27th in wOBA. That’s why they have an implied run total south of four and why the Indians enter this matchup as a –180 favorite.
Trent Thornton, TOR at SEA
DK ($6,200) FD ($6,000)
This is a total punt play. Thornton has frustrated me all season in terms of picking hitters against him and it’s time that I get on his end of the success train. A 5.30 ERA and 1.48 WHIP looks pretty ugly, but pitching in the AL East will do that to your numbers. He’s actually allowed five runs or more to the Rays (2), Red Sox (2), Twins and Yankees. Those happen to be the only games that he’s allowed more than four runs and those six ugly outings have sky-rocketed his numbers.
If you look at his other 19 starts, Thornton is pitching to a 3.28 ERA and 1.17 WHIP en route to 29.8 FanDuel points per outing. That shows that he can perform against poor offenses and he gets just that here. In fact, the Mariners currently rank bottom-five in runs scored, OBP, OPS and K rate since the opening month of the season. Getting to face an offense like this in a pitcher’s park like Safeco Field makes Thornton one of the best punt plays on the board. Opposing Thornton is Justus Sheffield and he’s also in play with his elite minor league numbers, great matchup and dirt-cheap price.
8/23 DFS Pitching Monkey Knife Fight Picks of the Day
Here are our picks of the day:
Zach Plesac Over 4.5 Strikeouts
Trent Thornton Over 4.5 Strikeouts
Both of these plays speak for themselves when you read the previous write-ups and these props are simply too low.
MKF Record 28-21
I've been playing fantasy sports since I was 12, which means I've been playing for over half of my life. I love DFS and season-long formats and have been writing for nearly a decade. I started my writing career at RotoWire and currently write for FantasyPros, Rotoballer, Razzball and DFSR. I cover NBA, MLB and NFL and follow all major sports. I generally cover primarily DFS but I also do game previews, recaps, player write-ups, injury updates etc.